After our epic 20 hour trip, we arrived in New York at 8pm at night.
From the airport we caught a NY cab and got the ride of our life to the hotel.
Did you know that it’s possible to do 140km/h through New York?
And double the posted speed limits in the tunnels?
Or that you can weave through traffic with only a couple of inches spare on either side?
If not, step into a NY cab and they’ll prove it to you.
(Admittedly, only our first cab driver was a lead foot. The rest just did the scary weaving stuff but you get used to it.)
While in New York, we stayed in Hotel Edison.
It was my favourite home-base of all the places we visited.
(Although it was rather costly to put your luggage down in reception.
Before you knew it, hotel staff had collected it and put it on a trolley
and you were expected to tip the crafty fellow…per piece of luggage!
Don’t get me started on tipping!!)
Hotel Edison was just lovely.
Locals consider it ‘dated’ but we thought it was delightful and full of character.
And the rooms were much nicer than what we had later at the Hilton.
When the Hotel was first opened in the 30’s, its lights were turned on by Edison himself.
We thought that was pretty cool.
We particularly liked that the hotel was only a stone’s throw from Times Square….quite literally.
You wouldn’t have wanted it to be much closer as all of these light flicker and flash all night long.
Time Square was different to how I imagined it.
It’s not a square at all. It’s not even a proper mall.
It’s just a stretch of real estate that is required by law to be lit up with billboards.
The shopping isn’t even all that good
(although we spent a lot of time shopping for my little niece at the Disney store.
Sadly, or perhaps ‘thankfully’, the world’s biggest toy store – Toys R Us – closed down only days before we arrived!).
No matter what time you arrived in Time Square,
there were people all around you.
We went for our first stroll around 10pm and it was as busy as it might have been at 7pm.
And we always felt safe.
There are police everywhere in NY.
Several cars with machine-gun-carrying cops were always stationed in the ‘square’.
And more often than not, there were mounted police as well.
To be honest, I never felt unsafe anywhere in NY. Not even in the subway at night.
The city was very family friendly and New Yorker were always very helpful.
One thing I can’t imagine every doing
is standing in Time Square all night long to see the famous ball drop.
Apparently you stand shoulder to shoulder with thousands of others, barely able to move, under very tight security.
That doesn’t sound like my idea of fun.
Can you see the ball up there on the top of the billboard tower?
(That tower I might add has no occupants. It earns its money purely through obscene billboard rent.)
Here’s the ball everyone watches drop on New Year’s Eve.
I think watching paint dry would be just as exciting
and much less claustrophobic.
In my opinion, Time Square is better visited any other time of the year.
We visited it every morning and evening while we were in New York.